Finally, a book that I can say, “DANG!” about and not have anything really negative to say about it. Earth Verse: Haiku from the Ground Up by Sally M. Walker and illustrated by William Grill has everything in it I am looking for in a book: good text, good facts, a story within those facts and interesting artwork. It also is accessible to the reader. It might not become a classic, but it is modern and would be a great addition to a personal or school or classroom library.
The earth is built from the “ground up” in the haiku poetic form. Each one is artistic (there is mention of a ghost dog on Vesuvius, alluding to the history of this volcano) but has just the facts, ma’am. It tells of the harshness of tsunamis and volcanoes but does not make it dark. It covers almost every aspect of Earth from core to the oceans to the rest of the surface. The author likens Earth to an egg. (Which is poetic, but very accurate). The earth is given the colors of itself in slightly abstract illustrations but fit the theme and feel perfectly. (The publisher description calls them “impressionistic but accurate”). The text and art complement each other. The text also can be almost read as a story, as each poem fits seemingly effortlessly into the next one. There are little codes at the bottom of the page that corresponded with a fact page at the end.
The ages the book is meant for on one hand, is all ages. It really is accessible to all people and ages. However, for children I would not go much younger than five. And due to the picture book format (which does seem a “young” format) I would not go much older than 10. The adult, however, will appreciate the art of the poems and the illustrations. The after information does make it for the older child, which makes it a nice book to grow with. Or, in my case, learn information I was unfamiliar with.